A much needed escape from reality: A not-so-live trip report

I defended my thesis on Tuesday and turned in the final revisions today. The last two weeks (let’s be honest, years) have been grueling and relentless and it is great to be done. That can mean only one thing… time for some escapism! We’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to cancel given the change in the situation, but we’ve decided to proceed with caution. We leave tomorrow but I wanted to have this up in case I figure out how to do the whole post from the phone with pictures thing. I’m going to try to be in the moment with my kids because honestly they deserve it from me, but I will update as possible.

Who: Me, DH, DS12 (We call him Bugsy), DD10 (The Diva), and DD7 (Peanut).
Where: Cabins at Fort Wilderness, Caribbean Beach Resort, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Night of a Million Lights (Give Kids the World Village)
When: We start the road trip on 12/12/20 but will arrive on 12/13

For now, just a mad dash to pack!


Congrats! Defending a thesis is a huge accomplishment. I hope you have a wonderful trip with your family. I would love to see the lights at GKTW…I’m super jealous! Looking forward to pictures!

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congrats on wrapping up your thesis! have a great, well-deserved trip!

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We finally arrived! We got a late start and had numerous inexplicably long rest stops (one every hour!) We have driven straight through many times before, but that one was the roughest. Checked into our cabin, not the one requested but I knew it was a long shot. Now we are going to freshen up and head to dinner at whispering canyon!


Congratulations on defending your thesis!! That is a real accomplishment!!

Have a great trip!

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Waiting for our table at whispering canyon. Wilderness lodge is beautiful! Souvenirs already acquired


Congratulations! What a way to celebrate your accomplishments and the sacrifices everyone made. Enjoy!

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Congratulations :champagne::tada::balloon::confetti_ball:. What better way to celebrate!

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A wrench was thrown into our MK morning. We couldn’t get a golf cart yesterday because of our late arrival. So now we have to take the bus to the ferry OR drive to ttc. We’re going to try for the buses to the ft wilderness ferry. Hopefully they are running and not crowded :unamused:

We’re on a boat! 20 minutes later than planned but it’s okay


We got there too late for seven dwarfs, there was a substantial line at 7:45. But we walked on to Peter pan, big thunder, pirates, waited twenty for jingle cruise, then walked on to dumbo, little mermaid, and barnstormer. Stopped for churros and some cavalcades, checked to see if the muppets were out (nope :pensive:) had to eat lunch in the rain, waited thirty for splash. When we got off splash, the crowd was too much. I’d say crowds are ok until noon. We went to main street and it was better there. More cavalcades and the dans, and treats dr confectionary. Now we’re back at the resort for pool time and we’ll be returning this evening for space mountain and seven dwarfs


Not a bad morning! Cute churro girl! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Nope not a bad morning at all! We did a lot more than I thought we’d actually get done by noon! I am sad I didn’t get to see the mickey cavalcade or the muppets but that’s ok.we are headed back soon to finish off our list with space mountain, and hopefully get seven dwarfs in too. It’s been a packed day so we’re taking it easy this evening

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Despite what the cms said, it is not running yet. Disappointing as we probably could have already been on and off another ride but we are stuck in here. Oh well, I can’t complain because I’m happy to be here :slightly_smiling_face:


But you got your empty GE!

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Exactly! It was never this clear again. And it worked out! We got to ride everything twice today! I didn’t get to pilot mfsr, but that is okay. We will be back soon enough.


I forgot to update last night! We got back to MK a lot later than planned because we… got lost… Long story but yeah, it happened :unamused: we had enough time to ride space mountain, get a pistachio chai tea float, and hop in line for 7dmt. The kids all hated space mountain, which hurts my heart but I understand why (they don’t like unpredictable and surprising things, so I guess I should have known.) They LOVED 7dmt!!! They also loved btm and splash! The Diva went on splash twice because of rider swap (Peanut got cold feet.) I have some thoughts/notes about crowds at mk but I think I want to be at my laptop to type them out instead of my phone, so I’ll share when we get home. It might be helpful for someone planning a trip while avoiding extremely crowded areas.


Congratulations on completing your thesis!

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Wow, I don’t know how you all find moments to update your live reports. I was very bad at it! LOL! So where were we? Hollywood Studios, I think. If I had kept up with updating, this would have come in sections, but since I’m on my laptop now I’m just putting it all together.

We arrived at 8:00 for a 9:00 opening and were pretty near the front for temp checks. DH dropped the kids and me off at the Speedway to walk so we could get a head start, since they each had their own must-do rides. We were let in about 8:20 and headed straight for MFSR. I was sad because I had dropped my DSLR coming off of PPF at MK and busted the lens (long story short- I thought it was wrapped around my arm more times than it was, and the strap slipped out of my hand.) so I only got phone pictures- but it was amazing to have no one there! I cried a little. I asked the cast members if it was running and they said yes. Quite a few people had gone in ahead of us so I figured they were already riding. We got nearly to the show room and then just stopped. We stood there until maybe about 8:45. DH already got into the park and got coffee from starbucks. We rode just a little before 9:00, with Bugsy and the Diva piloting.

When we got out of line, I was surprised to see DH walking into the inner area of the line (where it goes inside. Instead of waiting for us for us all to head over to SDD together, he panicked as the line got longer and jumped in. So I took the kids to SDD. The queue was just to the municiberg area. We waited about 40 minutes. By the time we got off, DH was waiting for us with my coffee. I was a little upset, because I didn’t get to be pilot on MFSR with his change of the plan, and that was a priority for me. DH got a little sick on it, so we didn’t head straight back over there like our plan said- and the line got long and stayed long later. Oh well. We will be back in September.

We bought souvenirs from the cart outside of SDD, and headed to ASS because the kids really wanted to. No one wanted to do RRC or ToT. I guess maybe next time. That was about 20 minutes. Then we did TMM, which started in Municiberg but we kept walking the whole time- about a 30 minute wait/walk. We were happy to see Potato Head working! He has never been on when we go through. I love that queue, it’s one of the places I tolerate waiting because there is so much to look at. I don’t want to brag,but I kicked Peanut’s butt. No mercy even for the seven year old LOL

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Then it was time for our Hollywood & Vine reservation. I almost cancelled because I wasn’t sure how I would feel about eating indoors, or if they would overcrowd the space. I have to say, I was really happy with the layout. We were not close to anyone else at all, and there was plexiglass seperating us from other sections. I felt very comfortable taking my mask off to eat- more than I did eating outside at Pecos Bills the previous day (that was kind of a crowded mess, and if I hadn’t been hangry with few options we would have left. Again, I’ll touch on the crowds in a seperate final post.) While we were eating, our boarding group got called. Oh yeah, we snagged BG 50 for Rise! I took a screen shot, but I have no idea how to find it on my phone now. I’m an oldie (but a goodie…) and don’t understand tech all the time :crazy_face: We couldn’t go right away though, because Bugsy and Diva had reservations immediately following lunch, to make droids. Our lunch service was really slow; we saw other families the same size as us arrive later than us and leave sooner. Goofy came by a fourth time and was like “You guys again!” it was funny. The character interactions were terrific, and surprisingly the food was great too.Although we were all afraid of eating too much because no one wanted to get sick on the rides. The Droid Depot was very understanding when we showed up late, and so was the cast member at the front of Rise. I was told by both DD and H&V to keep my receipts to show them the time stamps, but they didn’t care, they just scanned our bands and let us in. Peanut got cold feet halfway through the queue. I think she is at a weird age where the lines between pretend and reality are blurred. She was terrified of the CMs even before we got on the transport vehicle. So we ended up doing rider swap and the Diva and Bugsy got to ride two times! They were thrilled! No pictures of rise because my phone was about to die (and the fuel rod apparently does not charge it very well…) and I really just wanted to experience it without a screen for the first time.

Peanut got a mickey bar since the others got to go on a fun new ride. We watched the motorcades while DH had his turn to ride. I cried more than a little during rise of the resistance. It is such a great ride. The Diva didn’t understand why I was crying. When I said “I just loved it so much!” She rolled her eyes at me and muttered something about moms being weird.

I have no more photos because my phone battery completely petered out despite being hooked up to a fuel rod. My phone usually lasts 1.5- 2 days before completely depleting, even if I’m using it a lot. So that is something to keep in mind. I was glad I purchased a fuel rod ahead of time, because we got it for half the cost than had I bought one there, but it just charged so slowly. Basically for the rest of the afternoon, we found a secluded area across from Backlot Express, watched motorcades, and ate Christmas treats. The chai mousse tree was very good. We took the droids back to the car at one point, and decided to just sit there with the AC blasting and our masks off. That was a great break, even if it was a little weird. We went back into the parks at 4:30 and rode all the toy story rides again including SDD (and because we were a party of five this time, I found out a little too late that they are filling every row. I was surprised to find myself seated so close to strangers. Before because we were in a party of four, I hadn’t noticed- we had a whole section to ourselves regardless. I know some people are okay with this, but I wish they would inform guests of policy changes like this. I would have chosen not to go on and let DH ride it with the kids. I realized what was happening after I was fastened in. So keep this in mind if one of the things that made you comfortable with Disney was having space on the rides.) Then we closed out the nigth by walking through Galaxy’s Edge, and riding MMRR. It was a 7pm close, and we got in line at 6:50, were off it around 7:15. I did use DH’s phone to take some pictures of the decorations at night. I really missed having my camera- I had specific photos planned. Oh well. At least it was just a lens and not the body that broke, but that meant I couldn’t get the night time park pics I wanted. I like the decorations in this park the best. I love the vintage vibe, and the floating bulbs lit up on the lake! Gorgeous!


Thank you all for the congratulations! Minnie also saw my celebration button at Chef Mickey’s, and made a really big deal out of it. She did the “we’re not worthy” a la Wayne’s World. It was cute. I highly recommend wearing the celebration button if you are there celebrating something. I felt silly/vain at first, but it was really special to have the cast members say congrats, and it was special to take part in other people’s celebrations too, when the cast members would call out someone’s button and everyone got to clap for that person etc. It made everything personal, even with the masks and distancing